Irish pilots union awaits crash report

Irish pilots union awaits crash report

A union representing Irish pilots says it would wait for a preliminary report into last month’s fatal Indonesian air crash that has raised questions about Boeing’s 737 Max planes.

The Irish Air Line Pilots Association, which is affiliated with trade union Fórsa, said it would not comment until the preliminary report into the Lion Air disaster, which killed 189 people on October 29.

The preliminary report is expected six weeks after the disaster, which happened when the 737 Max plane crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff.

The world’s largest aircraft maker, Boeing, has said the 737 Max is safe, saying it has gone through thousands of hours of testing.

However, Lion Air and a number of US-based pilot unions have said Boeing has questions to answer about a feature that can cause the plane to dive inadvertently.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association at American Airlines Group, and the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents United Continental flight crews, raised concerns publicly this week.

Airlines around the world have scrambled to order the new 737 Max since Boeing announced production, because of its improved fuel, range and weight efficiency.

Boeing has almost 4,800 orders for the 737 Max from almost 100 airlines in the coming years.

More than 200 have so far been delivered. Lion Air has more than 200 ordered, in addition to the 13 in its current fleet.

The Indonesian body charged with investigating the Lion Air crash, the National Transportation Safety Committee, has said pilots on the doomed flight were receiving erroneous speed readings, a problem that had occurred on three previous flights.

It has also said an inbuilt safety feature inadvertently caused a command for the plane to dive.

Despite the findings so far, aviation experts have said there is no compelling reason yet to doubt the overall safety of the 737 Max, saying the recordings should not been enough to cause the Lion Air flight to crash.

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